A New Role Model

Aug 29, 2015 | 0 comments

Visiting with Dr. Moulton

Sydney and Nyel Visit with Dr. Moulton

We arrived a tad early at the reception for Dr. Gary Moulton at the Columbia River Heritage Museum Wednesday night and our timing turned out to be a good thing. It gave us an opportunity to visit one-on-one with the guest of honor and his lovely wife, Faye. I felt as though I had known them both for years.

And perhaps I have, in a way. My copy of The Journals of the Lewis & Cark Expedition, November 2, 1805-March22, 1806 (known as “Volume Six of the Moulton edition of the L&C Journals) is inscribed this way: “November 15, 2005 – To Sydney – Best wishes on your own voyage of discovery. Gary E. Moulton.”

Susan and Greg Visiting with Faye Moulton

Susan and Greg Visit with Faye Moulton

I have no recollection of our meeting back then, nor did he. It was a few years after Nyel and I had closed the Bookvendor, so it wasn’t at a book-signing hosted by us. However, I’m quite sure that I purchased the book, along with several other volumes in the series, during the years we owned the store.) Gary did say that he had been out here (he lives in Lincoln, Nebraska) in 2005, so I must have gone to some event or other clutching my book and asking for his autograph.

We compared notes about life after retirement, about the next book on his horizon and on mine, about his contractual arrangements with National Parks for his current stay in the area and his obligations to them. Both he and Faye were interested in hearing about Oysterville, and remembered fondly of visiting Nanci and Jimella’s Ark restaurant on an earlier trip. But that was as far north as they had been on the Peninsula. We exchanged email addresses and they promised to stay in touch and to come visit “next time.”

CPHM August 26, 2015

          CPHM August 26, 2015

Following the reception, Dr. Moulton gave a talk — probably billed as a “lecture” but it was so conversational in tone and so effortlessly presented that I don’t feel comfortable calling it by a stuffy-sounding name like a “lecture.” It concerned his research for his next Lewis and Clark book – “Lewis and Clark’s New Look.”

He spoke about the ever-changing face of history as new information comes to light and about our morphing attitudes regarding heroes of the past. He was forthright about his own beliefs, yet he was fair in presenting opposing points of view. I was impressed by the fact that he spoke for about an hour and, as far as I could tell, did not miss a beat, pause to come up with a name or date, or refer to a single note. He was totally mesmerizing and definitely someone to emulate in the matter of public speaking. It was a most enjoyable evening, all the way around.

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